Our Whole Lives (OWL)
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The Our Whole Lives Program
First Church proudly offers Our Whole Lives (OWL), the nationally renowned human sexuality curriculum developed in collaboration by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ.
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, society, and culture.
Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. OWL’s human sexuality curriculum is grounded in the values of respect, responsibility, justice, and inclusivity. It helps young people apply these values to their behavior and provides them with information and skills to use throughout life.
Our OWL teachers are members of the church who volunteer to become trained sex educators who work closely with religious education staff and parents. We recognize that parents and primary caregivers are the most influential educators in a child’s life and require that parents attend an orientation for each OWL class their child participates in. Additionally, church membership, regular attendance, respectful behavior and following our shared covenant is necessary to create a success OWL program and a requirement of all participants.
Our Whole Lives transmits a great deal of valuable information, but more importantly, it promotes compassion and responsibility. As my 15-year-old told me, “Our Whole Lives does much more than teach us plumbing, Mom. It helps us to know what we should do in a difficult situation.”
—Sylvia Ann Hewlett | Chair, National Parenting Association
All about OWL at First Church
We are working to expand our OWL program to offer comprehensive age-appropriate sexual education for children in puberty, 4-6th grade, and for older youth exploring relationships with their peers in new ways in grades 10-12th grade. This requires more OWL trainers and a shift in how the OWL program is offered at First Church. In the past, each year our 8th graders were offered the 7-9th grade O.W.L. curriculum. Moving forward, we have the ambition of offering OWL for all ages in a rotating schedule at First Church. It is our hope that this plan will allow us to increase access to life-saving sexual education and allow parents and caregivers to plan for their children’s OWL education. Please contact Rev. Kimberlee or Deb Solis if you would like to talk more about OWL at First Church.
First Church OWL Rotating Annual Schedule:
2022-23: Fall: Grade 4-6, Spring: Grade 10-12
2023-2024: All Year: Grade 7-9 and Parent & Caregiver Online OWL program
2024-25: Fall: Grade 4-6, Spring: Grade 10-12
2025-2026 All Year: Grade 7-9 and Parent & Caregiver Online OWL Program
Under Your Wing: Sexuality Education Video Series for Parents and Caregivers of Children ages 5-7
Under Your Wing (in Spanish, Bajo Su Ala) is a series of short videos that support parents and caregivers as the primary sexuality educators of their children ages 5-7. In each video, Dorian Solot and Marshall Miller, co-authors of Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Grades K-1, 2nd ed., share conversation tips and at-home reading recommendations related to topics children are curious about. https://www.uua.org/re/owl/videos-k-1
We offer families this collection of sexuality education resources, curated for families and children and youth of all ages. Plus check out these additional ideas from the UUA: When you cannot do OWL, do this!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FIRST CHURCH OWL PROGRAM
Deb Solis, Youth Program Coordinator